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Title

Entomopathogenic nematode food webs in an ancient, mining pollution gradient in Spain

AuthorsCampos-Herrera, R. CSIC ORCID ; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Escuer, M. CSIC ORCID; García-González, M. T. ; Duncan, L. W.; Gutiérrez, Carmen CSIC ORCID
KeywordsEntomopathogenic nematodesIron
Lead
Soil food web
Soil pollution
Zinc
Issue Date1-Dec-2016
PublisherElsevier BV
CitationScience of the Total Environment 572: 312-323 (2016)
AbstractMining activities pollute the environment with by–products that cause unpredictable impacts in surrounding areas. Cartagena–La Unión mine (Southeastern–Spain) was active for > 2500 years. Despite its closure in 1991, high concentrations of metals and waste residues remain in this area. A previous study using nematodes suggested that high lead content diminished soil biodiversity. However, the effects of mine pollution on specific ecosystem services remain unknown. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) play a major role in the biocontrol of insect pests. Because EPNs are widespread throughout the world, we speculated that EPNs would be present in the mined areas, but at increased incidence with distance from the pollution focus. We predicted that the natural enemies of nematodes would follow a similar spatial pattern. We used qPCR techniques to measure abundance of five EPN species, five nematophagous fungi species, two bacterial ectoparasites of EPNs and one group of free–living nematodes that compete for the insect-cadaver. The study comprised 193 soil samples taken from mining sites, natural areas and agricultural fields. The highest concentrations of iron and zinc were detected in the mined area as was previously described for lead, cadmium and nickel. Molecular tools detected very low numbers of EPNs in samples found to be negative by insect-baiting, demonstrating the importance of the approach. EPNs were detected at low numbers in 13% of the localities, without relationship to heavy-metal concentrations. Only Acrobeloides–group nematodes were inversely related to the pollution gradient. Factors associated with agricultural areas explained 98.35% of the biotic variability, including EPN association with agricultural areas. Our study suggests that EPNs have adapted to polluted habitats that might support arthropod hosts. By contrast, the relationship between abundance of Acrobeloides–group and heavy-metal levels, revealed these taxa as especially well suited bio-indicators of soil mining pollution.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.187
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/198401
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.187
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.187
issn: 1879-1026
pmid: 27505264
Appears in Collections:(ICVV) Artículos
(ICA) Artículos
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